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Thread: Singer 401 Slant-O-Matic Light Shorts Out

  1. #1
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    Singer 401 Slant-O-Matic Light Shorts Out

    For Christmas my husband bought me this machine. The seller sells used 'good condition' sewing machines. She takes them 6 hours away to have them overhauled and makes sure they run properly.

    Well, I didn't get a chance to try it out until January 4th and the plain old stitches are beautiful! The fancy stitches are gorgeous. But the first thing I did was put a spool of thread on the 1st spool holder on top of the machine and the spool holder came off in my hands. So, I moved the spool to the second one and it was very sturdy and I threaded the spool and was ready to start sewing. I turned on the light. It came on. Oh, beautiful light! Then it flickered and went out. I pushed on the light case that houses the lightbulb and it came back on. I sewed for a bit. Then the light went out. I pressed my fingers against the machine and it came on. I pressed my fingers against the machine again and the lights went out. I kept doing this and the light would come on and off. So, I think that means there is a short, right?

    The place I bought it from is on vacation until January 11th. What should I do? I love this machine, but I don't want them to super glue the thread holder to the top. I want it fixed properly. My husband paid $195 for the machine and case and the original manual and original box with some feet and accessories. I want the light to work all the time. Is it a big deal that it comes on and off when I push anywhere on the machine? Thank you in advance for your helpl.

    Oh, I already purchased more feet, Singer sewing oil, and 25 bobbins.

    Jeanne
    Last edited by jcrow; 01-09-2013 at 07:53 AM.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

  2. #2
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    I would imagine the wire in the junction needs tightening. That's not a big deal at all and it shouldn't be an issue for them to do that. Similarly, the spool pin may just need to be pushed down into the holder. I don't think either of the things you mentioned would be a problem to repair in a few minutes. They should be happy to help you.

  3. #3
    Senior Member DanofNJ's Avatar
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    The light on this machine is fragile because the housing is made of bakolite. The switch wobbles free and becomes part of the shorting problem as well. With repeated use through the years, it deteriorates, cracks, and shorts. I had a similar experience with this machine. The good news is that it is very easy to replace once you take the top off. The lead wires need to be carefully removed since they thread through the upper housing, but if you take your time it is fairly straight forward. You'll have to get a replacement light housing for it, but the good news is that they aren't too hard to find. Then it will work like a dream. Wonderful machine.

  4. #4
    Senior Member DanofNJ's Avatar
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    There are several on ebay:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Singer-401-4...item588c379d39

    No affiliation with seller...good luck

  5. #5
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    The spool pins do pound in - they do fall out - pound them back in gently - some times I think they get cold and come out. What Dan said about the light.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

  6. #6
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    I agree with Dan about the light and Miriam about the spool pins. Neither of these things is a big problem. The spool pins were designed to push in and pull out. If that one is worn out, you can easily get another on e-bay. The Singer 401 is a great machine. Don't let these two things prevent you from enjoying it.

    Do you know how to select stitches? One side of the knob has levers that pull out and one side has levers that push in. Consult your manual. Don't try to force them.

  7. #7
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cricket_iscute View Post
    Do you know how to select stitches? One side of the knob has levers that pull out and one side has levers that push in. Consult your manual. Don't try to force them.
    I have spent up to 4 hours getting those knobs to move. It is not a job for someone who doesn't know what they are doing.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

  8. #8
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Once you get those two knobs to move, with the top off watch what and how they move things, Tri-Flow, Tri-Flow, Tri-Flow. Then clean, clean, clean all the moving parts. Especially the two vertical shafts the selectors move up and down on and the latches. If these are gummy the selectors will bind.

    I got two of these critters and have had to thoroughly clean them both.

    Joe

  9. #9
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    OH yeah, one more thing. Each time you use the machine, run the knobs through their settings a couple times each to keep them freed up.

    Joe

  10. #10
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miriam View Post
    I have spent up to 4 hours getting those knobs to move. It is not a job for someone who doesn't know what they are doing.
    I have seen Tri-flo not fix it, too
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

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